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  xMonday, December 16, 2002

lott update


For the record, Trent Lott is still Republican Senate Majority Leader as of this writing, although the WaPo sees the GOP's recent effort to circle the wagons as eroding with Oklahoma Republican Senator Don Nickles (a strong candidate to replace Lott should he be dismissed as Majority Leader) calling for his ouster from the top spot.

Lott finally found the right words to apologize over the weekend, but not everyone was impressed. Neither was I--at this point, I've come to believe that Lott's statements WRT Thurmond were a much better indication of his attitude than his recent apology, although it is well taken. Lott did the right thing with his long-awaited repudiation of segregation, but I don't agree with Senator Mitch McConnell that we should just forget it an move on.

Dodd didn't appreciate my citation of Jeanne D'Arc's contention that the GOP flirts with, shall we say, less progressive elements. Frankly, I believe I've made enough disavowals that Lott's attutide hardly reflects the majority of conservatives, and I think Dodd's broadly drawn criticism is a straw man that doesn't address the substance of either my or Jeanne D'Arc's opinion. I do believe that the GOP has some demons it needs to confront, and I stand by my statement that pretending otherwise doesn't help. My hope remains that Lott's reprehensible statements will provide the opportunity for principled conservatives, like Dodd, who hold no truck with racism will make their influence felt.

I'll say for the zillionth time that I do not believe Lott's sentiment for segregation to be representative of the Republican Party. But the fact that the GOP leadership even needs to "debate" replacing Lott as Majority Leader shows that at least some of that leadership at best simply don't understand how embracing Lott will tarnish the party's reputation, or at worst genuinely don't see the problem with what he said. I maintain that the GOP leadership's actions--or lack thereof--stands in stark contrast with the genuine outrage expressed by liberals and conservatives alike and reflects no credit on the party.

Finally, a comment on one of Dodd's discussion threads led me to discover Discriminations, a Web log devoted mainly to examination of "the theory and practice of discrimination, and how it is reported and analyzed," which has several posts regarding l'aiffaire Lott.





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